News from the USA 1998 NUC: Day 1

Today was the first day of the Unicycling Society of America’s 1998
National Unicycle Convention, in Monrovia, California (a suburb of
Los Angeles).

    Having the NUC in (or near, to be more exact) my hometown worked against
    me in unexpected ways. I couldn't make a clean break from my daily job,
    I felt less pressure to meet a packing deadline, etc., so, well, I
    missed the MUni and the unicycle hockey demonstration.

    I believe that the MUni was down the Mt. Wilson Toll Road. That's a dirt
    road (and, no, they no longer collect a toll to use it), about 10 miles
    long, with an elevation drop of about 4500'. The day was hot and smoggy
    along the San Gabriel mountains, and one participant reacted so severely
    to the heat and/or air quality that a trip to the hospital was required.
    Good news, though: he was back at the NUC by the evening workshops.

    The unicycle hockey demonstration was held adjacent to the old Monrovia
    downtown shopping street, which has been taken over by a multiblock
    stree fair and farmer's market. The demonstration was over when I
    arrived, and again, the heat was cited as a concern. The street fair was
    quite nice, by the way, and well worth the visit.

    Andy Cotter and Dana Schneider gave a press interview and photo op while
    I was there.

    At 1900 the NUC moved to the local YMCA, which will be the site of most
    of the artistic competitions. It has the usual double basketball court,
    but there's *very* limited seating in the room. Workshops were held
    there, in a multipurpose room, and outside; I attended John Foss' MUni
    workshop. We had some fun on a grass hillside, and on a (very
    small-scale) skateboard exercise area.

          Checkin was at the Monrovia Holiday Inn. It was very
  efficient and friendly, and the hotel, where most of the out-of-town
  NUC participants are staying, I imagine, seemed very well appointed.

    The different event venues are spread out over a few miles. This is very
    different from the usual NUC, in my (ralatively limited) experience. I
    haven't asked about public transportation to get from one place to
    another; I'll try to report on the topic tomorrow.

    It was nice seeing the many of the people that I see only at NUCs,
    although I suspect that not everyone has arrived yet. Quite a few people
    have made the trip from the Midwest to California, and we'll all have a
    lot of fun together, I'm sure.

    Well, that's it for day one of news from the 1998 USA NUC.

                                    Craig Milo Rogers